The ultimate guide to understanding your energy bill

Written by

Lewis Morgan

Posted on

May 9, 2019

Posted in

The first time I received an energy bill, I was just as confused as I was when I tried to understand how ‘tear’ and ‘tear’ are pronounced differently.

Kilowatt hours, tariffs, standing charge, exit fees and TCR are all phrases you’ll likely see dotted around your energy bill – but what does it all actually mean?

If you’re confused about your energy bill, then you should spend some time looking at the example bill below from Greenstar Energy.

  1. Your postal address

  2. The date period your bill covers

  3. The balance from your last bill. CR means you’ve paid for more energy than you’ve actually used, while DR means you owe money as you haven’t paid enough.

  4. This shows all the payments you have made during this billing period.

  5. The balance brought forward from your last bill, less any payments made during this billing period.

  6. Total of new charges included in this bill for both gas and electric, if applicable.

  7. Your up-to-date balance.

  8. This will show if you are paying by direct debit each month, or it will confirm how much needs to be paid by what date.

  9. These are your current tariff details.

  10. Your account number

  11. Providers contact details (this will be different for each supplier of course!)

  12. This is an estimate of your annual costs for gas and electricity, based on your current tariff, charges and discounts, including VAT.

  13. Information about cheaper tariffs.

 

  1. The tariff used for the charges listed below

  2. Total amount of energy used in the period stated above as well as your unit rate

  3. Any credit shown reflects the discount applicable for this bill period.

  4. This shows the cost per day for the standing charge, it shows the number of days that have been included in this period.

  5. Any credit shown reflects the discount applicable for this bill period

  6. This shows the total charges for this fuel for this period

 

  1. The tariff used for the charges listed below

  2. Total amount of energy used in the period listed above as well as your unit rate

  3. Any credit shown reflects the discount applicable for this bill period

  4. Any credit shown reflects the discount applicable for this bill period

  5. This shows the cost per day for the standing charge, it shows the number of days that have been included in this period.

  6. This shows the total charges for this fuel, for this period, after all credits have been deducted

  7. This is a total of all fuels for this period before VAT has been applied

  8. The total VAT amount payable at 5% for this bill

  9. Total charges for this bill including VAT

 

Most energy bills contain the same information, however they’re often laid out entirely different – which can cause a significant amount of confusion.

In our current climate, consumers are looking to spend as little as possible on their energy bill and a popular approach to doing that is constantly changing to a different provider when there’s a better deal. This constant change of providers means having to understand yet another energy bill.

Reduce your usage

Energy providers should be encouraging their customers to use less energy, rather than just providing new customers with a great deal. Next time you look to change suppliers, perhaps go to one that will provide you with energy saving products and tips.

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